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Posted by Michelle Dellino | Mar 18, 2015 | 0Comments

Everyone makes mistakes and the hope is that we can learn from our mistakes and from the subsequent consequences. Unfortunately, there are some mistakes that are accompanied by consequences that far exceed the duration of the punishment. This is the case with criminal convictions.

A conviction on your criminal record can resurface when you least expect it, potentially preventing you from obtaining certain jobs, housing, public assistance, or even the right to vote. Fortunately, in Washington State there exists a Motion to Vacate Conviction. This enables the opportunity for certain misdemeanor and felony convictions to be vacated from your criminal record. People often ask about getting records “expunged” or “cleared”, but in Washington State what they are really doing is vacating a conviction. When a conviction is vacated, the guilty plea that was originally entered is withdrawn, a not guilty plea is entered, and the charge is dismissed. That is the practical application and the language that appears in the court order when your conviction is vacated.

There are certain criteria that must be met in Washington State for misdemeanor and felony convictions to be vacated.

For your misdemeanor to be vacated:

  • You must not have any new criminal charges in either State or Federal courts
  • Your case must have been closed for at least three years (five years for domestic violence)
  • You must not have had a conviction vacated in the past
  • You must not have a no-contact order or anti-harassment protection order held against you
  • For both misdemeanor and felonies, any conviction of a “violent offense” may not be vacated.

For your felony conviction to be vacated:

  • You must not have any pending State or Federal charges
  • You must not have been convicted of a “crime against a person”
  • You must not have been convicted of another offense since the date of the discharge
  • At least five years must have passed for a class C felony or 10 years for a class B felony
  • For both misdemeanor and felonies, any conviction of a “violent offense” may not be vacated.

Mistakes are a part of life for all of us, but that does not mean we should be forever burdened by them. A misdemeanor or felony conviction can result in severe long-term consequences.

Our experienced criminal defense attorneys can help assist you in having your criminal record vacated in the Seattle area, including Tacoma, Bellevue, Federal Way, Kent, Poulsbo, Everett, Kenmore, Puyallup, Port Orchard, and all of King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County, Kitsap County, and Thurston County.

Please contact us today for a Free Consultation.


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